Exceptionally High Prevalence of Infection of Bithynia siamensis goniomphalos with Opisthorchis viverrini Cercariae in Different Wetlands in Thailand and Lao PDR

Nadda Kiatsopit Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Centre (LFCRC), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand; Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Department of Ecology and Parasitology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

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Paiboon Sithithaworn Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Centre (LFCRC), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand; Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Department of Ecology and Parasitology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

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Weerachai Saijuntha Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Centre (LFCRC), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand; Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Department of Ecology and Parasitology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

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Thidarut Boonmars Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Centre (LFCRC), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand; Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Department of Ecology and Parasitology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

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Smarn Tesana Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Centre (LFCRC), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand; Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Department of Ecology and Parasitology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

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Jiraporn Sithithaworn Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Centre (LFCRC), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand; Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Department of Ecology and Parasitology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

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Trevor N. Petney Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Centre (LFCRC), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand; Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Department of Ecology and Parasitology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

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Ross H. Andrews Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Centre (LFCRC), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand; Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand; Department of Ecology and Parasitology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany

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The carcinogenic liver fluke, Opisthorchis viverrini, requires Bithynia snail intermediate hosts in its life cycle. However, the prevalence of O. viverrini in snail intermediate hosts is typically low (< 1%). Here, we examined B. siamensis goniomphalos from 48 localities in Thailand and The Lao People?s Democratic Republic (Lao PDR) and reported high-prevalence levels of O. viverrini. The highest-prevalence levels per locality were 6.93% (mean = 3.04%) in Thailand and 8.37% (mean = 2.01%) in Lao PDR; 4 of 13 localities examined showed prevalence higher than any prevalence previously recorded. The number of cercariae infecting snails and their prevalence were positively correlated with the size of the snails. High prevalence occurred in the Songkram River wetland (Thailand) and the Nam Ngum River wetland (Lao PDR). Our results show that transmission of O. viverrini from humans as well as animal reservoir hosts to snail intermediate hosts is ongoing and potentially increasing in endemic areas across Thailand and Lao PDR.

Author Notes

* Address correspondence to Paiboon Sithithaworn, Department of Parasitology and Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen 40002, Thailand. E-mail: paib_sit@hotmail.com

Financial support: This work was supported by the Higher Education Research Promotion and National Research University Project of Thailand, Office of the Higher Education Commission. This research was also supported by the Thailand Research Fund through the Basic Research Grant and Royal Golden Jubilee PhD Program Grant PHD/0187/2548 (to N.K.) and German Federal Research Foundation Grant PE1611/3-1.

Authors’ addresses: Nadda Kiatsopit, Paiboon Sithithaworn, Thidarut Boonmars, Smarn Tesana, and Ross H. Andrews, Department of Parasitology, Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand and Liver Fluke and Cholangiocarcinoma Research Center (LFCRC), Faculty of Medicine, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, E-mails: nd_tg_na@yahoo.com, paib_sit@hotmail.com, boonmars@yahoo.com, smarn_te@kku.ac.th, and rhandrews@gmail.com. Weerachai Saijuntha, Walai Rukhavej Botanical Research Institute, Mahasarakham University, Mahasarakham, Thailand, E-mail: weerachai.s@msu.ac.th. Jiraporn Sithithaworn, Faculty of Associated Medical Sciences, Khon Kaen University, Khon Kaen, Thailand, E-mail: jirapo_n@gmail.com. Trevor N. Petney, Department of Ecology and Parasitology, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology, Karlsruhe, Germany, E-mail: petney@kit.edu.

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